Signs of an aging senior cat?
Does your Senior Cat display the following signs of age?
- Meows are much more frequently
- Avoids their favorite resting place and finds places to hide instead
- Doesn’t use or misses the litter box
- Doesn’t come when called
- Sleeping patterns change
- Eating patterns change
When older cats, senior cat, they sometimes have a loss of mental ability or cognitive function. They may experience changes in memory, learning, awareness, or perception.
In years past were considered senior at about 8 years of age but because of improved health conditions, better food, cats staying indoors, and an overall better quality of life, cats are living much longer. Today cats are not considered to be senior until they reach about 12 – 14 years of age. Just because cats have reached the senior age of life doesn’t translate to a decline in mental ability, but cat owners do need to be aware of the signs of cognitive function.
Senior cats may be less playful, less active, sleep more, weight changes, and not able to reach the same high places in your house. Yes, these are signs of aging cats, but they may also be signs of medical problems so before you diagnose your cat yourself, visit with a veterinarian to rule out any other issues.
How can you help?
Schedule yearly visits with your veterinarian to examine any changes with your cat. These well checkup visits may include blood work and x-rays and are a great way of catching problems early on.
Provide more litter boxes for your senior cat around the house so she doesn’t need to walk such a great distance. You may also need to reduce the height of the litter boxes as some cats find it difficult to jump over a high side because of arthritis or have reduced bladder control.
Build or purchase pet stairs that will allow your cat to reach the windowsill, favorite chair, or wherever that special spot may be.
A cat spends their entire life grooming themselves but as they get older this becomes more difficult. Help her grooming by brushing more often as this not only will remove loose hairs but will also stimulate her circulation just as massages do in people.
Cats have fantastic vision when they are younger but they will lose some of this when they age. Turning on a night light will help her when it gets dark.
If your cat has developed hearing problems, always approach her from the front so you won’t startle her.
If your cat has gone outside during her life, keep her inside to protect her from predators and cars.
Senior Cat Treatment
Treatment options for cats with cognitive dysfunction syndrome are limited. You may ask your veterinarian about a nutritional supplement designed for cats called MaxxiSam-e which may help support cognitive function in senior cats.
Talk with your vet about other ideas to help your cat age gracefully and with fewer problems.
As we get older our weight can cause us concerns. Long sigh………… The same can be said for our cats. Overweight cats can have health issues that should be addressed.